Personal Note

After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

Encyclopedia of Card Tricks

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In 1955, the same year that Cy Enfield's Entertaining Card Magic was published, I remember going to an I.B.M. convention. I was seventeen at the time. Some six years earlier I had first met Cyril Goulding, who will be remembered by many folk at the Magic Circle. He would have been about thirty in those days. He gave me many lessons, teaching me the pass, how to force a card, and many other things. In addition he gave me his own thoughts and ideas and spent many hours coaching and helping me. He helped me a lot at that crucial time in my development and there is no doubt that he was the inspiration behind much of what I do today.

It was when I was eleven that Cyril Goulding showed me the Curry Turnover Change (1949). He had learned it from Fred Kaps, who was a personal friend. At the convention I noticed a group of magicians, playing about with cardrf on the floor. I remember that Gus Southall, performing on the carpet, did a multiple Curry change. That is he exchanged two, three or four cards. This set me thinking and I began to explore a multiple card change. I am not claiming any originality for the way in which I hit upon a similar method to that of Mario. I think that I

could only claim originality if the thing was in print. There is absolutely no question at all that Mario was the first to describe in print the use of a little finger break for the Curry change.

Just for the record at this time, I would like to pay tribute to John Gilliland and Mike Kelly. These were two fellow cardworkers in the Pentacle Club. Between the years of 1955 and 1963,1 had been thinking about what I had seen Gus Southall do. Along with John and Mike, I spent many hours, and together we developed the idea of using a left little finger ┬╗break. We discovered that with this method, it was possible to do a packet exchange, in much the same way as the exchange of a single card.

I say, I am claiming no originality for this. 7did write it up in my own personal notebooks .<r that year, which I still have. I am not sure of "ne date of the Mario move.

' 4> I want to start by outlining part of the act, which I did in the close-up competition, at the Magic Circle. The part that I call The Little Salt Man. It gives me the opportunity to describe my handling of the Hofzinser Top Change. This differs in some respects from the version described by Lewis Ganson, in Cy Enfield's Entertaining Card Magic Part 2.

It is important, when performing this change, that an excuse is given for the stroking action, of the left thumb. This action is the distinctive feature of the change. The change can take place in ful view, with the hands being burned.

I want us to look at every movement, in the description of this change, for, although, as Lewis Ganson points out, the mechanics of the move can be learned in a comparatively short time, a good deal of practise will be needed to acquire the knack of performing the combined movements that produce the illusion of a card changing, as it is being stroked. As Lewis Ganson says, "One of the reasons why this change is so effective, is that you draw attention to the card, through the stroking action. The card apparently changes, while it is being closely watched. It changes right under their very noses!"

So let us now come to the beginning of:

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